Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ghostface Killah - Twelve Reasons to Die

From the moment I heard about this album, I couldn't wait to hear it.  I love Ghostface (naturally), but I have also become a huge fan of Adrian Younge.  His scores for Black Dynamite and Something About April are terrific, and his production of the new Delfonics record was amazing.  His style is somewhere between laid-back hip-hop and Ennio Morricone.  He really is very talented.

Thankfully, this album delivered on my high expectations.  With the exception of the underwhelming "The Center of Attraction", the entire album is fantastic.  It's a concept album of murder and revenge, which is played out perfectly with Younge's dark and lush beats and Ghostface's delivery.  This is a perfect album for a dark night.

If you can, I would definitely spring for the deluxe version with the instrumental tracks.  They sound terrific.

Favorite track: "Murder Spree"
Rating: 5/5

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

Through their first two albums, I wasn't really a fan of Vampire Weekend.  A couple decent tracks, but that was about it.  I listened to them a couple of times, then promptly forgot about them.  Just not enough there to keep my interest.
This album is different.  The songs are catchy without bordering on smirking-annoyance.  There's a depth to these songs that I hadn't heard from them before.  A spacious darkness, almost.
Don't get me wrong.  This isn't a morose album by any means.  The happy, Paul Simon-esque pop is still there.  But there's a different feel to it.  I have quickly fallen in love with this album.

Favorite track: "Don't Lie"
Rating: 4.5/5

I couldn't find a video for "Don't Lie", so here are videos for a couple other tracks I love:


"Ya Hey"

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The National - Trouble Will Find Me

My love of The National has been well documented.  High Violet was my favorite album of 2010.  So the fact that I positively love this album shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.
There are moments that bring to mind Boxer and Alligator.  But, for the most part, this album is its own monster.  A beautifully-crafted, thundering monster.

Favorite Track: "Slipped"
Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Kat Jones - La Rosa, La Calavera

Okay, so it's not technically a "new" album (it was originally released in 2004), but it was recently remastered, so I thought I'd talk about it for a second.
I love this album.  It's a perfectly dark little pop record.  At first listen, it's a bit surprising that half of these songs are not murder ballads.
The instrumentation is terrific here (which is not surprising, seeing as how her backing back is comprised of Frank Lenz, Richard Swift & Josh Dooley).  Lots of organ, and perfect piano flourishes.
It's no surprise that it's the songwriting and voice of Kat that really makes this album great.

And now, with it remastered, I'm hearing it in an entirely new light.  It really does sound quite a bit different, in a good way.  I was a big fan of this record before, but I'm an even bigger fan now.

Favorite track: "One More Second Chance"
Rating: 5/5

You can grab this (as well as some of Kat's other albums) at her Bandcamp page.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Kate Nash - Girl Talk

I'm working on trying to get this up and running.  Going to try to ramp up to a couple posts per week.  They'll be short (in some cases probably nothing more than the album cover and a rating), but I'll try to keep this up with stuff I'm currently listening to.
For today...

On this album, the poppy, jumpy, piano-driven songs from her past couple albums are gone.  This album finds Kate delving into fuzzy, scuzzy punk rock.  Driving basslines and filthy guitars and primal screams.  I'm not a fan of every song, but, as a whole, I really like this album.  It's a different direction for her, and it took me a couple listens to get into it, but, once it clicked, I found myself listening to it quite a bit.
A good summer driving album.

Favorite track: "Conventional Girl"
Rating: 4/5